It was with a heavy heart that we started the search for a new cat companion, because we had just lost our dear cat-and-friend Jaffa far too early to cancer. I found KittyKind in an online search, and immediately saw a few candidates that would suit our situation. We were looking for a young energetic male, a companion to our playful 18 month old cat and for us! I saw the picture and blurb of Cricket on the website, and liked the description, but we didn’t seriously consider him because of his apparent “flaw”: Cricket had lost his left eye due to a bad infection. I was convinced that I could not deal with the emotional toll of having to see a cat suffer with this “disability” on a daily basis, so basically discounted him based on that.
We went to KittyKind one evening and spent a few minutes with the cats that we had pre-selected. One of the compatibility tests we have for cats is to pick them up and cradle them like a baby (on their backs). It takes a cat with a very special temperament who will allow being held in this vulnerable position by a stranger. Cricket was the only cat who not only allowed us to hold him like this, but also pretended to like it! Then we started observing him with his cage mate, and they seemed to have a ball playing with each other and interacting really well. It was a wonderful bonus that Cricket has just about the cutest facial features ever, an unusually long tail, very pretty coloring and these beautiful patterns on his side. We felt a spark and decided to take him on a foster-with-intent basis to see how things work out.
From the get-go, Cricket proved to be a special kitty. He is very talkative and has a great variety of sounds to get his point across (hence, the name Cricket – as a homage to just a few of his “chirping” sounds!). He has some serious ball skills and still enjoy hours of fun playing “fetch” with his crinkly ball. His ability to adapt to losing his left eye is just amazing. I would never have believed it unless I saw it for myself. It sounds like such an invasive procedure and devastating thing to happen to an animal – but they cope unbelievably well. Cricket is completely oblivious to the fact that he only has his right eye, and after having him with us for almost 3 months now, so are we. We’re only reminded of it when friends feel the need to point it out to us!
He loves to play: his favorite games being “catch/chase/chew/carry the feather”, “running/hiding in the play tunnel”, “playing fetch” and “chasing/running away” from his older brother. He has recently discovered the computer monitor and spends a lot of time hunting down the cursor. He tries to bite/smack it on the monitor, and even tries to find it behind the monitor … with no luck. He ensures we’re never late for work by jumping/nudging/licking us early in the morning until we show signs of life! And my favorite part of the day is having him pass out on my lap (or anywhere on me where he finds a space!) as an early evening nap time.
I am forever grateful that I did not let my initial reservations about his “disability” get the better of me. He has brought so much enjoyment to our lives and we cannot imagine not having him as part of our family.
Carla & Sean